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Hochwohlgeboren is a form of address for members of the lower German nobility or landed gentry. The English translation is High Well Born.

German usage[edit]

This form of address originally had connections with the ability of a Freiherr (Baron) to bequeath a family coat of arms and to hold landed property as allodial instead of a fief. The actual address is Euer Hochwohlgeboren ("Your High Well Born") and is the correct form of address not only German Freiherren but also Ritter and Edle.

The title should not be confused with (Euer) Hochgeboren. This title ranks higher than Hochwohlgeboren and is the style of mediate Grafen (mediate Counts; immediate counts or Reichsgrafen are entitled to the address Erlaucht) and those Freiherren descending from the mediæval Uradel.

Another honorific title was (Euer) Wohlgeboren which ranked lower than Hochwohlgeboren and was claimed by Bourgeois notables.

In the 19th century it became customary to address academic and other civil honoraries by this title, e.g. a number of letters to Sigmund Freud are addressed to "Hochwohlgeboren Prof. Dr. Sigmund Freud".

Swedish usage[edit]

In Sweden Högvälboren (High Well Born) is used to address free lords and counts,[1] Välboren (Well Born) is used to address untitled nobles.[1]

Dutch usage[edit]

In The Netherlands Hoogwelgeboren (High Well Born) is used to address a Baron, a Knight or a Jonkheer. Hooggeboren (High Born) is used to address Dukes, Margraves, Counts or Viscounts.

Russian usage[edit]

In Imperial Russia, civil, military and court servants in the 6th to 8th grades according to the Table of Ranks were addressed with a style identical in meaning (Ваше высокоблагородие). Similarly the style (Euer) Wohlgeboren (Ваше благородие) was applied to servants in the 9th to 14th grades, while (Euer) Hochgeboren (Ваше высокородие) was enjoyed by servants in the 5th grade.


  1. ^ a b The Blue Book Conduct when not on duty: Chapter IV: Correspondence